NRA President: Assault weapons ban not likely to pass Congress: “National Rifle Association President David Keene said Sunday that he does not believe a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines will win passage with the current Congress. “I would say that the likelihood is that they are not going to be able to get an assault weapons ban through this Congress,” Keene said on CNN’s “State Of The Union.” (Washington Post)


Sen. Joe Manchin: Stand-alone assault weapons ban ‘will not go anywhere’: “Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said Sunday that a stand-alone ban on assault weapons would not win passage in Congress, and that the effort to curb mass shootings must include a broader discussion involving the entertainment industry and mental health issues. “An assault weapons stand-alone ban on just guns alone, in the political reality we have, will not go anywhere. It has to be comprehensive,” Manchin said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” (Washington Post)

Maryland Gov. O’Malley to push for tougher gun-control rules: “Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley will seek to institute some of the nation’s strictest gun-licensing requirements, ban assault weapons and restrict visitor access to schools in one of the most expansive government responses sought to last month’s school shooting in Newtown, Conn. Perhaps most controversially, O’Malley (D) will ask the General Assembly to force prospective gun owners to provide fingerprints to state police, complete a hands-on weapon-familiarization and gun-safety course, and undergo a background check to be licensed.” (Washington Post)

How NRA’s true believers converted a marksmanship group into a mighty gun lobby: The Old Guard was caught by surprise. The NRA officers sat up front, on a dais, observing their demise. The organization, about a century old already, was thoroughly mainstream and bipartisan, focusing on hunting, conservation and marksmanship. It taught Boy Scouts how to shoot safely. But the world had changed, and everything was more political now. The rebels saw the NRA leaders as elites who lacked the heart and conviction to fight against gun-control legislation. And these leaders were about to cut and run: They had plans to relocate the headquarters from Washington to Colorado. (Washington Post)

Why a veteran Clintonian helped found No Labels: “As we lurch from crisis to crisis, the people are losing what little trust in government that they had managed to retain, and the rest of the world increasingly wonders about our capacity to govern ourselves and discharge the global responsibilities we have long shouldered. In response, a new organization—No Labels (—has emerged. No Labels is not a “moderate” or “centrist” organization: Its hundreds of thousands grassroots supporters include liberals and conservatives as well as moderates, Democrats and Republicans as well as independents. The organization does not ask its members to abandon their partisan and ideological commitments. (I’m a lifelong Democrat, an identification I have no intention of changing.) Nor is it a third party, or a stalking horse for independent candidacies, writes Brookings’ Bill Galston. (Politico)

America is not in decline or retreat: “We are about to have a major foreign policy debate in the guise of a confirmation battle over Chuck Hagel’s nomination as secretary of defense and the related argument over how long American troops should stay in Afghanistan. President Obama should use this opportunity to stand up for his broader vision of how American power can be sustained and used, even if that doesn’t come naturally to a pragmatist who likes making decisions one at a time,” writes Brookings’ E.J. Dionne. (Washington Post)

Turning Congress’s partisans into problem solvers: “From our perspective, there is only one way for leaders in Washington to step up: They need an attitude adjustment. Everyone needs to be willing to sit down with anyone — conservative, liberal or anyone in between — to work together to achieve success for our nation. Everyone needs to recognize that principled and deeply held political beliefs don’t require an all-or-nothing approach to governance and that the letter behind a person’s name does not automatically make them stupid or treasonous,” writes No Labels national leaders Joe Manchin and Jon Huntsman. (Washington Post)

Room for Debate asks: With the new year, the government reached the $16.4 billion borrowing limit set by law — the debt ceiling. Disputes between President Obama and Congress over expanding the limit could lead to default or a shutdown of many government services. The president has said he would not debate House Republicans over whether to expand the ceiling since the money would be for “bills that they’ve already racked up.” But what if Congress refuses to extend the limit without spending cuts and tax changes the president won’t accept? (New York Times)

Our sort-of war on terror: Either by design or through incompetence, the Obama administration’s war on terror has become indefinable. In fact, to the degree that there are identifiable policies, they seem either internally contradictory or at odds with other administration policies. (National Review)

AEI’s Michael Barone: Is the entitlement era winding down? (National Review)

Heritage’s James Carafano: Zero Dark insight. (Washington Examiner)